Date Published: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Kensington (Lyrical Shine)
It’s a long way from Seattle to Otter Bite, Alaska. But if one woman can survive the trip-and the locals-she just might find what her heart has been searching for. Her mango chutney is exquisite; her blueberry sauce is to die for. But right now, Chef de Cuisine Daisy Moon is a woman without a kitchen-and without a fiancé. Unceremoniously dumped from her place of business and her relationship, Daisy sells her belongings, plus a few of her ex’s, and packs her bags. Maybe smashing all the china in her former restaurant was a bad move. Stripped of her Golden Spoon for “un-chef-like” conduct, she is now blacklisted all over Seattle. Her sole job offer is from Wild Man Lodge…in Otter Bite, Alaska. Too bad Daisy can’t even get out of Dodge without incident. By the time she boards a ship for Alaska, she’s got a trail of new troubles behind her, and suddenly Otter Bite is sounding pretty good. But the vessel turns into her own personal Titanic when a series of close encounters confirms her terrible taste in men-including one very good looking bad luck charm named Max Kendall. She vows to dedicate the rest of her days to chowders and brulée. Yet even Alaska isn’t far enough away to shake the memories of the sexy shipmate who rocked her cabin-and her world. Thank goodness she’s done with surprises-but they may not be done with her…
Max cocked his head at her. No siree, Bob. Daisy Moon was not easy. She was like a 1500 piece puzzle, where all the pieces are really tiny, and similar in shape and color, but are nonetheless different, and it would take weeks, maybe even months, just to get the edges put together.
“Don’t look so surprised,” she said. “I know I’m not exactly laid back. Okay, maybe that’s being kind,” she responded to Max’s smile. “But I’m an incredible cook. And a really good speller. Not to mention having a humongous vocabulary. I came in fourth in the national spelling bee championship when I was fourteen.”
Without meaning to, Max pictured Daisy at fourteen, in a prim white blouse and a demure plaid skirt with her hair tied back in a ribbon, triumphantly spelling words like…concupiscence.
“Do I know what men want, or what?” Now Daisy smiled…at herself.
Taking the cue, Max leaned into her and spoke sincerely, but resisted the urge to cup her hand. “Somewhere there is a man who wants a pretty redhead who’s difficult and a great cook with a really humongous vocabulary who can spell…and next time it won’t be a cross-dressing felon.”
I loved the writing in this book. It draws you right in, and I could picture these characters. In fact, I picture them so well that I don’t like the cover because it doesn’t match my vision of them. Still, the book is interesting. Poor Daisy just can’t seem to catch a break and Max is the kind of character you love to hate. You might want to have a French translator handy for the French dialogue thrown in. I caught the drift, but didn’t look up the exact words. My only critique is the cavalier way sex is handled. There’s one scene where Max sleeps with Daisy, then another woman a few hours later, and then Daisy again a few hours after that. I know it’s romance and our reality, but I don’t think glorifying it does anything for our culture. That being said, they weren’t gratuitous sex scenes, and the rest of the book is so well done that the morality issue can be overlooked by some. I’d rate this book with 4.5/5 stars.
Golden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.
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